The biggest problem with recruiting in college baseball actually falls on the high school athletes themselves. There are a series of questions that every high school athlete needs to ask themselves when looking into what school they will be attending for the next 3-5 years. While these athletes are young, these college decisions are setting up to effect the rest of their lives.
The most important thing in the recruiting process is understanding yourself both as a person, and as a player. Once you are able to do that, you must then look at what is the best fit for you, both as a player, and as a person. As an athlete, we all want to PLAY the sport which is why the most important thing is finding a fit for you where you will get an opportunity to do that.
In order to find a good fit for you as a player, you must ask yourself, Do I fit into the style of baseball this school plays? Do they move players onto the next level? Is there a lot of turnover at this school? Based on the current roster when will I get a chance to make an impact on the field? All of these questions need to be answered in hopes of making the right decision for your future.
Making sure the schools style of baseball is a very important aspect in terms of being a good fit. Every school has their own brands of baseball, whether it is playing small ball and running the bases well, or playing powerball and looking for home runs and doubles to fuel their offense. On the pitching side of things, do they have power pitchers that rely on velocity, or are their pitchers more of the crafty variety. Do they value defense, or do they play guys based off of their offensive numbers. Once you look at these things, and figure out which guys are thriving in their system, you must then look at yourself as a baseball player. This is where it is important to be honest with yourself, what style do you fit into, where will you thrive. This is key to a player’s success because at all levels of baseball there is a spot for every type of player, which is why it is so important to find the right fit for you.
The next thing a player should look at is the school’s current roster, especially at the position you are looking to play. If you are an outfielder for instance, look at the school’s outfield situation. How did those players perform, when will they graduate, are there younger guys on the bench that might be in position to play next. These are all important things to look at that way you are not signing up for a situation that will be extremely difficult to thrive in.
Another important thing to look at is if there is a lot of turnover at the school, along with if they are moving players onto the next level. When looking at the turnover of the school, look at how many players are actually staying at the school for their whole college tenure. If you see a lot of guys are leaving the school without graduating then that should raise an automatic red flag for you. This would cause you to look further into the situation, is this school over recruiting kids, are they bringing in kids that don’t fit their style of baseball. All of these things are important to look into and might keep you from attending that school. Athletes must also look at the matriculation rate of these schools. When looking at a junior college, look at how many of their players end up moving onto schools where you want to go and where your skill sets match, whether it’s D1, D2, D3, or NAIA. When looking at 4 year schools, look at how many of their players are moving onto pro ball. As a baseball player, we all have dreams of playing at the next level, which is why we play the game. Looking at how many players these schools are moving on will show you how well these schools are developing their players and if they are getting the most out of them.
Once you have looked at these things from the baseball perspective, it is important to look at the recruiting process from the academic side of things. While we all want to play baseball for as long as we can, baseball comes to an end at some point for everyone. This is why it is important to set yourself up for success after baseball. That starts with finding a school that is a good academic fit for you.
Does the school have a major that you are interested in. Every school is different, which is why it is important to figure out if they have a major that interests you. College is extremely expensive, which is why it is important to pick a degree that you will want to use the rest of your life. When looking into these things you can also ask the coach questions about their academics in the school. Some good questions to ask are, How many of their players are graduating? How many players graduate on time? These questions should help you figure out where you want to be both as a player, and as a student.
After reading this, hopefully you understand different aspects you will need to look at when going through the recruiting process. All of these questions are very important things that need to be answered during the recruiting process. If athletes are able to go through this checklist and make sure all the boxes are checked, players will be able to find places that they will be able to thrive in. When players are able to benefit from their situations, they will be able to thrive both on the field, and in the classroom